NEWAYGO, Mich. – Mental health is at forefront of conversations in Newaygo county schools this school-year because the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan is launching be nice. Programming in all five school districts throughout the county. The launch of this program countywide is made possible by grants from the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan, the Gerber Foundation, and the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
The be nice. logo has become an eye-catching icon in more than 150 schools across the state, and representatives from thirteen school buildings in White Cloud, Hesperia, Fremont, Grant, and Newaygo school districts came together to be trained in this mental health based program before introducing it to their students. The liaisons learned that it is MORE than just a logo.
be nice. is an Action Plan – notice, invite, challenge, empower – all of us have the ability to notice changes in someone’s behavior, invite themselves to have a conversation, challenge that person to utilize resources that are available, and empower that person with protective factors for their mental health.
Through the program, individuals as young as kindergarten learn and understand that they can have an effect on how people think, act, and feel; their mental health. Following this training, the program will be launched across the county, beginning with staff members of all school buildings. High and middle school students will be supported in leading the initiative as they bring assemblies, activities, and community-wide events to their schools along with the elementary school buildings to promote positive school culture, mental health awareness, and the be nice. Action Plan.